Graduates!Empowering parents to be their child’s first teacher; The Readiness Basket, a bilingual  (English/Spanish) training, is an exciting interactive parent and child learning workshop series offered through selected AZ schools and community sites for over six years. The program is offered to parents, caregivers and their young children ages 0 – 5. Using ToP methods during these 11 two hour sessions, parents discuss issues vital to parenting, brain development, the importance of play, discipline techniques and school readiness.

2014 has been an amazing year with many successes to celebrate. The Gila Bend Readiness Basket Program expanded its leadership in parent education to not only teaching classes but helping in the developmental screening as facilitators as well.  The Readiness Basket Literacy Nights (two semesters in 2014) produced 658 (children & parents) participants and again that success was based on parent empowerment along with the Readiness Basket facilitators. As this event continues to grow the parents continue to stay motivated to organize and implement it. New parents for the first time have taken parenting skills classes and are ready to continue their journey in learning, being active advocates for their children.

Partnership and collaboration have been essential to our success this year. Partners like the Fire Fighters, Maricopa County Health Department, Arizona Learning Institute, Valley of the Sun United Way, Arizona Literacy & Leaning Center, Town of Gila Bend, Chicago Community Foundation (Spencer Charity Fund), parent liaisons, school districts, Family Resource Centers and dedicated parents with high commitment to their children’s education together build the fabric of Readiness.

Some key 2014 accomplishments:

  • 288 parents/caregivers who are better prepared with new tools and knowledge about early childhood education and the importance of their role as the first and most important teacher of their children
  • 370 children better prepared to start Kindergarten, ready to learn
  • 246 tool kits in the hands of parents/caregivers as an important tool for preparing their children
  • 292 boxes of materials for Kindergarten prep delivered to each graduate from the program
  • 1740 children’s’ books distributed to participants of the program (an average of 4 books per participant)
  • 288 “Play to Learn-Learn to Play” activity books delivered to graduates of the program
  • 289 program workbooks given to graduates containing all the materials from the 11 sessions
  • 71 car seats given to and installed for children in Gila Bend Readiness Basket Programs in partnership with Safety, Nutrition, Activity and Care for Kids (SNACK)
  • 26 Parents/caregivers received their CPR/First Aid training and their certification card
  • 4795 snacks for adults and children who participated in the activities
  • 169 training sessions and parents network support group sessions
  • 49 Developmental screenings ASQ-3 in the Gila Bend area
  • 500 Arizona Diamondbacks tickets for games distributes to parents during the Spring 2014


Overall 288 parents and 370 children directly benefited from the Readiness Basket Program in 2014. Our sincere gratitude to the Spencer Family Charitable Fund, Valley of the Sun United Way, First Thing First of Arizona, Arizona Literacy & Learning Center, Arizona Learning Institute, Prendergast School District and Pilgrim Foundation for their support for working with children and families and for making these Arizona communities a better place to learn and live. We’ll let one of our participants have the final word.

“I am Maria, I want to thank you for this program. I have learned so much, all I know about child development, discipline, be patience, communication and how children learn through play, brain development and how to prepare my grandson for school. If I got these type of training when my children were little, I could do better job as a parent in the past, especially how to discipline and prepare them for life. But I am prepared as grandmother and I am raising a grandson. Thank you so much, I am confident and I am empowered to teach and learn with my grandchildren”.  Readiness Basket Participant from Gila Bend, Arizona